Fashion and technology aren’t always a match made in heaven. But self-described fashion nerd Diana Eng (of “Project Runway” season two fame) sought to marry together her two loves with “Fairytale Fashion,” the result of her residency at nonprofit art and technology center Eyebeam.
The runway – with its diaphanous entry – dominated the stripped-down space, but what caught the eye was the sewing-machine-driven laptop hooked up to conductive felt origami that aided in the DJing. Malan Breton of season three of “Project Runway” was an uberpolite impromptu host, directing guests to the alcohol-free bar that served up Kool-Aid and a sweet tea redolent with wildflowers and citrus.
The show opened with a knee-length aqua dress whose seashell-like edges were trimmed in electroluminescent wire controlled by an accelerometer. Next out was a wide-bodied garnet “deployable hoodie.” The miura-ori Japanese folding technique was employed to allow the not terribly successful hood to totally disappear into a diamond pattern when not in use. Eng’s proprietary twinkle pad blinked on and off down the runway on a cardigan and a chiffon overlay to a graphite-shaded tank dress as well as on an orchid-like white, gold and acid green dress. A nearly life-sized cameo jutted out from a peach silk organza confection of a top that featured more of the electroluminescent wire while intense structure was at work in the pleats that puffed up the sleeves on a well-tailored short-sleeved lavender jacket. If Christian Lacroix worked in plastic, he might have come up with the flower-bedecked silk chiffon dress that was bolstered by inflatable poufs.
Eng closed out the show with the years-gone-by tradition of sending a wedding dress down the runway – but with a twist. A sleeveless scoopneck bodice was set at the waist by an Alice in Wonderland blue satin bow with a net of tulle holding down a raft of LED-filled balloons. The model swished the pearlescent balloons out of her dress, letting them float up to the raw wood beams above.
Sometimes happily ever after isn’t a prince of a financial backer for your line but finding your place in the world.